Peanut Butter Honeybees – LOVE IT!! <3
“The Genius of Swarms”
By Peter Miller, National Geographic Staff
“A single ant or bee isn’t smart, but their colonies are. The study of swarm intelligence is providing insights that can help humans manage complex systems, from truck routing to military robots.
The bees’ rules for decision-making—seek a diversity of options, encourage a free competition among ideas, and use an effective mechanism to narrow choices…
…Consider the way Google uses group smarts to find what you’re looking for. When you type in a search query, Google surveys billions of Web pages on its index servers to identify the most relevant ones. It then ranks them by the number of pages that link to them, counting links as votes (the most popular sites get weighted votes, since they’re more likely to be reliable). The pages that receive the most votes are listed first in the search results. In this way, Google says, it “uses the collective intelligence of the Web to determine a page’s importance.”
Wikipedia, a free collaborative encyclopedia, has also proved to be a big success, with millions of articles in more than 200 languages about everything under the sun, each of which can be contributed by anyone or edited by anyone. “It’s now possible for huge numbers of people to think together in ways we never imagined a few decades ago,” says Thomas Malone of MIT’s new Center for Collective Intelligence. “No single person knows everything that’s needed to deal with problems we face as a society, such as health care or climate change, but collectively we know far more than we’ve been able to tap so far.”
…”A honeybee never sees the big picture any more than you or I do,” says Thomas Seeley, the bee expert. “None of us knows what society as a whole needs, but we look around and say, oh, they need someone to volunteer at school, or mow the church lawn, or help in a political campaign.”
If you’re looking for a role model in a world of complexity, you could do worse than to imitate a bee.”
“The first time I looked at a bee’s eye magnified I was amazed to see a field of hexagons, just like honeycomb. I wondered, is this a coincidence or a clue? Is it simply that hexagons are ubiquitous in nature, or is there a deeper correspondence between the structure of the bee’s vision and the structure she builds – in other words, similar frequencies being expressed in similar form? This got me pondering on the connection between vision and action at a more abstract, metaphoric level. Is there a parallel kind of encoding relevant to humanity? At a refined level of our own nature, does our deeper capacity to see and to do correspond with an intrinsic structuring?”
To promote Britain’s Plan Bee campaign, UK winery Banrock Station created the world’s first bee-powered billboard, composed of 10,000 live bees. Plan Bee aims to campaign against the use of bee-killing pesticides and to inspire people to help bees in their own gardens.
“THE BEEKEEPER” – experimental documentary by Richard Robinson
“…but whatever the intended metaphor for taking bees into space, one thing is clear – when the minors used the canaries to test the mines for methane gas… they knew that if the canaries died, the mines weren’t safe to go in – so they would stay home and not go into the mines. But the bees as the new canaries in the coal mine…things are a little be different. We don’t have the option that the coal miners did. The coal mine is now the whole planet and there’s no where else to go.”
“Lots of people talk to animals,” said Pooh.
“Not that many listen though.”
“That’s the problem.”
-The Tao of Pooh
Thank you Bill Rosendahl for your support in legalizing urban beekeeping!
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HoneyBee Rescue with Kirk Anderson in Los Angeles, CA – backwardsbeekeepers.com
Tokyo’s honeybees on skyscraper rooftops
“The office tower would not look out of place in any central Tokyo street: from its glass entrance door and sweeping marble lobby to the ear-popping lift with its steady influx of salarymen.
But this particular building is not only abuzz with the activity of its grey-suited workers. Its rooftop is home to a less conventional breed of tenants: more than 300,000 honeybees.
As one of the most densely populated cities in the world, Tokyo may be more famous for its concentration of human beings than for its status as a home for bees. However, the urban honeybee is flourishing in the metropolis.
Once associated with strictly rural environments, the world’s honeybee population is in crisis. Fuelled by a complex cocktail of problems ranging from climate change to the use of pesticides in rural areas, a global decline of the honeybee has gathered pace in recent years…
The decline of the honeybee has led to experts making increasingly vociferous calls for urban dwellers to take up beekeeping in cities where pesticide contamination is low and honeybees are able to flourish.
Among the most famous of the urban beekeeping aficionados is Scarlett Johansson, who received a hive of the animals from Samuel L Jackson as a wedding gift.
Testimony to the rise of the urban beekeeper is the success of Tokyo’s honeybee project on a rooftop in the heart of the upmarket Ginza area of the city. Here, in an area more famous for its architect-designed fashion towers, historic department stores, crowds of shoppers and the most expensive commercial rental space in the capital, the honeybees are thriving.
Fortified by nectar from pesticide-free flowers grown in the nearby Imperial Palace gardens, inner-city parks and the odd rooftop garden, the collection of 20 hives of bees has produced more than 760kg of honey so far this year…”
“Some people are fearful of the thought of thousands of honeybees in the city. But they are not dangerous. They rarely sting. They are quite soft creatures; they have good characters. And they are very happy today – they haven’t stung me once.
“At first, we had to persuade the other offices in the building and the local authorities that it was a good, safe idea to have honeybees here – and since we started up, we have not had a single complaint.”
At least 10 companies in Ginza have started planting rooftop flower gardens to create nectar-rich enclaves as part of the project.
“The city is actually a very good place for honeybees,” says Tanaka. “The flowers that are grown here are not affected by pesticides like in the countryside.
“Honeybees don’t live for very long – only 30 to 40 days – so there is not enough time for city pollution to affect them. It is a great environment for them to make honey.
“Working on this project has made me realize that the city is not just about humans. There are bees and butterflies and all sorts of other insects living alongside us.”
Photo by: Chris Hondros
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